Kelly Sulick / Music 

Current UVA flute students come from all areas of study; while they are incredibly talented musicians/performers, many of them have interests in other areas, including engineering, history, biology, languages, economics, and more. To that end, I am hoping to introduce students to a more holistic approach to their instruments. With this project, students will learn how flutes are manufactured by visiting several flute workshops in the greater Boston region. The center of the American flute school, Boston is home to four of the world’s best flute makers, including the nation’s oldest flute manufacturer. Students will gain valuable experience while watching skilled artisans built instruments. These craftspeople will walk students through the process of designing, building, and finishing instruments. Students will learn how physics impact instrument design and, ultimately, their own sound production. They will also have the opportunity to play professional handmade instruments that would normally be out of their purview, gaining hands-on access to rare instruments made from precious metals.

 In addition to visiting these workshops, students will take advantage of the rich cultural environment of Boston. They will attend a performance by one of the nation’s top musical institutions, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and will have the unique opportunity to meet with musicians in the orchestra and interview them about their lives as professional musicians.

Students will also have an opportunity to present their research and experiences at the UVA Flute Forum, an annual flute festival hosted at UVA.



We will have one or two informal group meetings in advance of the trip, to discuss our plans and prepare for our visits. Students will prepare questions about the flute making process, study the history of the flute in the United States, and listen to and discuss works they will hear at the musical performance.


Selection Process­­­­­­

Up to 5 students will be selected for this opportunity. Students enrolled in MUPF 3150 will be invited to participate. If additional slots become available, students enrolled in MUPF 2150/2151 will be selected based on interest, availability, and involvement within the music department. (Five students are anticipated to enroll in MUPF 3150 in Fall 2019.)


Summary and Objective

A small cohort of students will take a trip to the Boston area to visit professional flute making workshops, learn how instruments are produced, and play professional instruments. They will also attend a performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and meet musicians from the orchestra.

The objective of this trip is to expand students’ understanding of the flute and its role in their lives—many of these students use the flute as a vehicle for personal expression, but have not considered the scientific and/or historic elements of the instrument. By directly relating their artistic interests with other areas, students will gain a holistic view of the instrument and how it relates to their own areas of study. They will also hear live music of the highest caliber, and will interact with musical luminaries who can share insight on their own artistic paths. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, they will connect with one another and build meaningful relationships on this musical journey.



A trip of this nature can be prohibitively expensive, so I have modified our travel arrangements to fit within the Mead Endowment budget. (In short, we will be taking a road trip!)


 Proposed Budget for 3-day, 2-night trip



 Rental vehicle: $600

Fuel: $300


 Shared accommodations: $850


Based on current per diem rate for Boston: $1065

Concert tickets

 Approximate cost, contingent on program/date: $500

Incidental costs

Parking, tolls, etc.: $100


Total proposed budget